Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

Manufacturing features: verification interaction accessibility and machinability

Faraj, Ihsan (2003) Manufacturing features: verification interaction accessibility and machinability. International journal of production research, 41 (10). pp. 2249-2272. ISSN 0020-7543

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A major problem in CAD/CAM integration lies in the difficulty in representing the component definition adequately for all applications. Features are considered as a main factor in the CAD and CAM link because various design, engineering and manufacturing data can be associated with a feature. However, tagging feature labels onto geometry does not guarantee the geometric correctness of the resultant feature; knowledge of the topology and analysis of the geometry is needed to correctly identify the validity of the resultant feature. This paper discusses a feature-based design system capable of representing 2.5D components in terms of manufacturing features such as holes, slots and pockets, which are associated with distinctive manufacturing processes. The system is capable of verifying all the defined features by comparing the definition of the resultant features against those of the applied features. Feature interactions are considered to investigate the effect of the interaction on the validity, accessibility and machinability of each feature. Individual features can be extracted from the product model, where all the information about the product is held, for analyses. Each volumetric feature corresponds to a solid that can be removed by one or more machining operations; as a consequence of applying volumetric features, surface features are generated. These surface features provide enough information to enable the validity and machinability of the individual features to be determined and to establish the possible routes in which the feature can be accessed, if any. The proposed approach has been explored in a rapid prototyping test bed consisting of product modelling environment coupled with a solid modeller.

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